No Ordinary Day

“…today was no ordinary day.  It was the sort of day when pleasant things happen, when everything goes well and all the little details of everyday life take on a sort of brightness; and take on this brightness as a personal blessing, as if Heaven had sent them all — the sunshine, the lark’s song, the bursting buds — as a sort of birthday present to gladden one’s heart.”

~ D. E. Stevenson, from Music in the Hills

Digital Camera

Photo credit: under my copyright, apples of gold


Every so often, when the sun is rippling fingers across glass front cabinets just so, reaching inside brisk white doors,  tickling over teacups, and shadow-dancing here, there,  like a tethered ship’s bobbing and reflecting water lights inside my home…       I go back again

Time is a traveling forward thing, but I am there once more, only as the grown up person I am today – a silent, invisible observer to days that have been and are no more.  And I can hear their voices calling… breathe in the mingled aromas of toast slightly burning, the way she liked it, and coffee burbling…intriguing, yet bitter scents that prickle my nose.  I can feel the softness of the breeze whispering through the curtains beside the 7, 8, 9-year old me.   And hear the creaking of the parakeet’s  swing as he rocks  on his little trapeze…

Jo-hn!” she calls over her shoulder, hands in sink bubbles, ever cleaning.   She wipes them dry on the floral green apron over her dress, reaches for the percolating pot.   “Your breakfast’s ready!”

He is whistling like no one else I know in a way that holds notes in vibrato, like his voice does when he’s singing opera – only without words – and as he comes in fresh from his morning shave, he touches her shoulder, reaches with both hands for the steaming cup she holds out.   “Mmm…Mmmm!” He slurps it loudly, clowning for my benefit, and maybe to get her goat with the offending sound, because he knows he can…  “Your Grandma sure makes the world’s best coffee!” he declares.

stock photo : Young green budgerigar sitting on the seesaw with bells

Good morning, Pamela sweetheart!” the parakeet suddenly sing- songs out in his rickety voice, spurred by my Grandfather’s commotion.  “Good morning, John!”

Papa slaps his hands on the table as if in amazement and I giggle at him… and that bird.  How in the world does it say just the right words at the right time?   Papa winks.  “Gotta be careful what we say around him!” he whispers loudly.

I watch Grandma’s smile twitch as she slides a plate of egg and toast in front of Papa … for she has taught that old bird every word he knows, and his bright performance on cue is like a student’s virtuoso music to a piano teacher and maestro.

John, John,” she tsks over the slurping.  She doesn’t want me picking up habits.  But we both know… it’s part of his love of being silly with me.

Then she is grabbing Papa’s shiny metal lunch box, shooing him out the door to work..  He is leaning down to kiss my cheek and his still feels a little prickly.  I watch the red plaid of his shirt disappearing around the corner, hear the back door closing behind him, just around the doorway from the glass fronted cabinets that always catch my eye. I smile at the sunlight ballet that is streaming in on them from the window over the sink now, as if on ribbons,  tiptoeing here, there…making glass and knobs glow…

Four in a row, above the tiled counters, these cabinets enchant me.  For they are filled with brightly painted pink flowered pottery and best of all… six child-sized china teacups hanging on little hooks so that I can just see their sides, their little saucers leaning up behind them.  Rainbows of watercolor pastels, with soft delphinium blue handles, large lemon yellow and pink and blue flowers on bright white background, squarish cups with rounded tops.  Demitasse, Grandma calls them.

It means, small and delicate, she says… for little sips of coffee or tea on special occasions.  Sometimes she makes Old Country dessert coffee for Papa and he drinks out of them in evenings…  And, sometimes, she fills one with a little milk, and lets me sip from it.

I love those cups, Grandma,” I tell her one day, dreamily.  Picturing my own grown up home someday.  I will have glass fronted cabinets too.  I will arrange some pretty plates, and a pitcher, and hang some cups of my own.

They will be yours someday,” she tells me then.  “I will leave them to you.”

Tears mist behind my lashes, and I slip my arms around her aproned waist.  “Not for a long time, though.  Right, Grandma?”  

She holds me close.  “Just… someday,” she says.

It is something just between us… No one else seems to know.

Stock Photography Image: Grandmas Hand Being Held by Her Grandaughters Hand

And when someday comes, many years later… they mostly disappear.  Mom and my aunt think maybe Papa sold them in the rush of moving…

Until one day, we find he still has two.   One for Mom… one for me.

So pretty, so unusual.  I’ve never seen another pattern like it.   Staffordshire, it says on the bottom,  but no specific name.  I hold mine in my hands now, remembering.  Hearing.  Cherishing Grandma, and her love behind them.

And this pretty little English demitasse, this memory,  it takes on a sort of brightness that never fades;  this brightness as a personal blessing, as if Heaven had sent them all — the sunshine, the lark’s song, the bursting buds — as a sort of birthday present to gladden one’s heart…

Her smile and a teacup and a moment etched…like handwritten prayer… in the book of time.

The King’s signature all over them…

And in this case, one is more than enough treasure to have and hold.


©  Pam Depoyan

Digital Camera

Maybe it  begins with a teacup… or something else…

  Won’t you share (in comments)  something about one of your

Heaven-sent days?

Digital Camera


Teacup photos:  mine, under my copyright  (please do not copy without permission. See my copyright info button on the sidebar.  🙂  )

Sharing with:

    Beauty in His Grip ButtonTell Me a Story       

Sandi’s Teacup Tuesday

at Rose Chintz Cottage

Imperfect Prose  at Emily Wierenga’s place

   Thursday Favorite Things

Share Your Cup Thursday

About Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

I love to hear your thoughts, even chat back and forth amongst comments.Won't you join the conversation? :) ..................................................................................................................... May my stories refresh you, like a whisper from our Father's Heart !
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42 Responses to No Ordinary Day

  1. Joan says:

    What a beautiful memory of a beautiful day! I’m so glad you have the cup and saucer to remind you of it! What a blessing!

  2. Thank you for sharing your visit down memory lane with us here at “Tell Me a Story.” I could sit with you and hear the parakeet sing with words,“Good morning, Pamela sweetheart!” And those lovely small cups, that I am happy you at least received one. Such love your grandparents had for you. I am sorry Grandmother did not let it be known that the cups were all for you, but that is how life is at times. Joy was there with at least one cup.

    • You know, years and life struggles go by and I’m sure she never thought of it. And then, my grandfather in his grieving was just selling things to move. I was happy there were two left and that my mom got one as remembrance too. (My sister now has that one 🙂 ) I think of her and those days every time I see this dainty cup in my hutch… Things are just things, but when memories are attached it is all the lovelier, isn’t it? Thanks, Hazel! I’m so glad you could hear the parakeet and “sit” with me in this story… I was hoping it would come across that way 🙂

  3. lynndmorrissey says:

    Oh Pam, you’ve done it again! This is so precious. And it reminds me of my own grandmother and her curio cabinet filled with her “Froelich” wooden mirature dolls (tha’ts the name of the old shop in St. Louis that sold these German delights), and her Madame Alexander dolls, which now sit beautifully in a cabinet in Sheridan’s room. My grandmother love coffee, not tea, but she loved mostly sharing her life with us. You took me back to her through your memories of your own grandmother. My grandmother’s name was Nina (pronounced Nine-ah), but my grandfather called her Love, and it stuck. Truly she was love–personified. I’m glad you have that cup and saucer. Even if you didn’t though you would always have your grandmother’s love overflowing in your heart!

    You should really try to get this published in Teatime!!!

    • I love your memories, Lynn! I think I had a Madame Alexander doll (those are those really tiny ones, right?), or it may have been a knock-off. I seem to remember someone calling it a “storybook doll.” I was heartbroken once when I was at school and a visiting child to my home broke her arm off. I am wondering now where that doll is… I think my Grandma was more of a coffee drinker too, but my mom always preferred tea with lemon. I like that name, Love. Like the English way of saying it instead of honey, maybe?

      Actually, I’ve kind of been thinking of a longer version of this for either Victoria or TeaTime… funny you should mention that! 🙂 Thank you, Lynn! I’m so glad this brought back some of your own sweet memories!

  4. lynndmorrissey says:

    PS Teatime likes photos too!

    • Thanks! These aren’t the best photos though I could tell them I have them… But even though the lighting in the top one is all wrong because it was under lights in my kitchen (where everything is really white, believe it or not), there is something “antiquey” that I love about the way it turned sort of amber lit…(and also because it has that coffee pot and my toaster salt and pepper shaker in it, which goes with this story, coffee and toast!) Just wanted to put more taken in the daylight, because the colors are more true there…

  5. laura says:

    You had me right there with you, Pam. Such a beautiful telling of a lovely memory. Thank you.

  6. Pam, you are a remarkable story teller…we are ‘neighbors’ at Jennifer Lee’s blog today and I’m so glad Idropped by.

  7. Jann Olson says:

    Beautiful post and beautiful cup and saucer. I love days like this! Sometimes just a glance at something special in my home can take me to so many heaven sent days. Days spent with my sweet mother are at the top of the list. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  8. Sandi says:

    Hi Pam,
    What a blessing to read your post today! It brought back such sweet memories of my own grandmother. You have a way with words and I appreciate a good story-teller! My father also possessed that gift. Your grandmother’s teacup is so pretty and very special. Thank you so much for sharing with us at Tea Time and please do join me again soon. I would love to have you!


    • Thank you, Sandi! I’m so glad it blessed you with sweet memories of your own! I appreciate your encouraging words here and am sure I will be back to your place again soon… 🙂 Would love for you to come back here again anytime too!

  9. Pingback: The Little Girl From the ‘Old Country’ | Writing… Apples of Gold

  10. Heather says:

    Just a beautifully woven memory- your words paint a picture Pam ♥ Love the thoughts of grandma’s kitchen… A heaven sent day would be one filled with hunting for treasures like those teacups and cabinets at my favorite antique shops!

  11. mbethany says:

    Oh, Pam! This takes me right back to several heaven sent-days with my Nana and Papa. You’ve brought me such joy this morning. Thank you for this sweet story!

  12. What a beautiful post! Your story brought up many wonderful memories of my Grandmothers.

  13. Michelle says:

    Lovely words written here. Yesterday was such a day when my distraught daughter fell into my arms. Just needing to be held. No words, Nothing but touch in a hug.

    • Oh, I’m sorry for whatever was making her hurt, but you are so right that you being there to catch her in your arms is Heaven sent! I remember well the way I felt in my own mom’s arms in such moments. Blessings to you both, Michelle.

  14. Lori @ Frog's Lilypad says:

    What a beautiful memory, Pam. My grandmother gave me a tiny violet teacup and saucer when I was born; yy sister has one for her birth month also. Those little treasures mean so much to us.They sat out on our chest of drawers while we were growing up. We were reminded often if they got broke there would not be another to replace it with. We still have them and they are sitting in special places in our homes. Thank you for sharing with Thankful Thursdays.

    • I remember those kinds of treasures too… sitting atop my dresser! So glad you still have yours! It is a gift to be able to look at them and remember someone who meant so much. Thanks for sharing your story of your own cups! 🙂

  15. I’ve been sharing some of those kinds of memories with my grandchildren lately. I pray they have some fond ones to share some day!

  16. It’s the memory swirling around the object that makes it something special. You’ve expressed that so beautifully here, Pam! I have a few things like that, objects that have grown more dear since the loved one is now gone. It’s important to write down our stories, our memories. We can all be storytellers. A simple gift to leave those who carry on once we’re gone. Have a blessed weekend!

  17. Stacey says:

    Pam, I’d love to have an ounce of your talent for writing. Thank you for this heartwarming entry. 🙂

    • Thanks for those sweet words, Stacey. I think I’ve always loved to read, and reading lead me into writing…but also, having worked years on a job where I had to write even mundane work things every day strengthened my writing. I do believe God answers the desires of our hearts and being able to write in ways that touch others, express in beautiful words and ways, is a prayer of mine. 🙂 I’m inspired by talents of others I read too 🙂

  18. Lovely. Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on!

  19. Sandi says:

    Thank you for sharing your trip down Memory Lane. It reminded me of my Granny and all the special moments we shared. Our memories are priceless and I’m so thankful that God made us in such a way that we have them to look back on. Thank you for sharing yours with us and have a lovely day.


  20. What a rich, beautiful memory – all wrapped in such love! What is it about a grandmother’s kitchen! I have my grandmother’s china – and there are days I just sit and have tea with them and savor. I do want to know – what is Old Country dessert coffee? Thank you that memory you shared!

    • Thank you! I don’t know. Maybe the kitchen just has always been the heart of the home. Hers was not huge the way they are today, but it was spacious and I loved all the glass front white cabinets. About the coffee… I guess a sort of European, black black coffee. They usually served it in demitasse cups, so a little went a long way! I love that you “sit and have tea with your Grandma’s china and savor. Lovely. 🙂

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